34 REALTOR® MARCH/APRIL 2014 REALTORMAG.REALTOR.ORG
VIDEO: See More Tech Trends Online. Take a look at bendable screens, driverless cars, connected homes, and more future tech
at realtormag.realtor.org. Also, view a slide show of the latest mobile gear to leverage in your business. Search for Real Estate Tech.
how to . . .
anticipate the future
5 Tech Trends
Way You Work
This could be your future: You’re driving hands-free, taking your clients around for a day of showings. While you’re behind the wheel (remember, you’re not
actually steering the car), you pull from your pocket a bendable
smartphone or tablet and bring up a home’s specs. (Apps
display the home’s energy use and maintenance status.) As
you’re approaching a home, the lights in the house automatically turn on. Sound far-fetched? Well, brace yourself: Some
of these capabilities are already here—or are coming soon.
Here’s at peek at the latest tech from the 2014 International
Consumer Electronics Show that should be on your radar.
Wearable tech is a big buzzword right now, with the smart-
watch business alone is expected to grow from 400,000
shipments this year to 35 million by 2017, according to
market research firm
Berg Insight. Watch-
maker Pebble touts
a $249 Pebble Steel
smartwatch with leather
or metal straps. It can
connect to apps from
iOS or Android devices for accessing e-mails, calendar alerts,
news updates, social media accounts, and maps.
The technology may serve as a discreet way to keep an
eye on your business. Real estate tech expert and author
Chris Smith says that in order for smartwatches to catch on,
they will need to have voice-control capability and connect to
all your smartphone apps so that you don’t ever have to take
out your phone.
A smartphone may become the key—literally—to showing a
home. Several products are being developed with the goal of
creating “connected homes,” which will allow for greater control
and monitoring of home appliances and systems from a smartphone. The tech is getting more affordable and simpler to use,
mostly through smartphone apps, and could make the connected homes more mainstream within the next decade, says
Matt Rogers, cofounder of Nest, a home technology manufacturer recently purchased by Google.
The offerings for greater home connectivity are growing:
1. Energy-efficient “smart lightbulbs”: You can control these
lightbulbs with your phone and program them with mood-light settings for relaxation and energy.
2. The ability to text appliances: Programs such as LG’s
HomeChat allow you to text your washer, for example, and
ask it, “What are you doing?” You’ll receive a text response
telling you where the washer is in the washing cycle.
3. Single integrated systems: These will allow you to connect
appliances, thermostats, security systems, and more from
one device. Lowe’s Iris Management System and Samsung’s
Smart Home App are examples of these systems, and
they also send alerts to your phone when an appliance is